Since its formation in 1929, the PGA Tour has been the premier professional league for golf, attracting top players from around the world and introducing millions of fans to the sport. In 2007, the PGA Tour introduced through the FedEx Cup, a championship trophy that goes to the PGA player who scored the greatest number of points throughout the season. The FedEx Cup playoffs are the final events that take place before the cup is awarded, and they just wrapped up on August 27, 2023.
Read on to learn more about the PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoffs and to find out who ultimately came out on top of the PGA Tour Championship leaderboard.
2023 PGA Season Overview
In 2023, the PGA Tour kicked off with the Fortinet Championship held on September 18. The season included a total of 45 events, the most well known of which are the four Majors:
- The Masters: Held April 2 through 9 at Augusta National in Georgia and won by Jon Rahm
- The PGA Championship: Held May 15 to 21 at Oak Hill Country Club in New York and won by Brooks Koepka
- The U.S. Open: Held June 12 to 18 at Los Angeles Country Club in California and won by Wyndham Clark
- The Open: Held July 17 to 23 at Royal Liverpool in England and won by Brian Harman
Throughout each event, players receive points based on where they finish on the leaderboard. Regular season wins award 500 points to the winner. The players with the most points are then invited to vie for the FedEx Cup where the winner is considered the top golfer for the season.
Recap of the FedEx Cup Playoffs
The FedEx Cup Playoffs provide the PGA Tour's top golfers with a final opportunity to score points and win the FedEx Cup. The playoffs consist of three events, and the winner of each event receives 2,000 points. The events include:
- FedEx St. Jude Championship: The top 70 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings receive an invitation to participate in the event. In 2023, it took place from August 10 to 23 at TPC Southwind in Memphis, TN.
- BMW Championship: The top 50 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings continue on to participate in the event and receive automatic invitations to the PGA' s seven Signature Events for the following season. The 2023 edition was held from August 17 to 20 at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois.
- The TOUR Championship: The top 30 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings progress to the final playoff round and typically receive automatic invitations to the Masters, the U.S. Open and The Open for the following season. In 2023, the championship occurred August 24 to 27 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia.
Key Moments from the FedEx Cup 2023
Those who tuned into the 2023 PGA Tour Championship playoffs were treated to plenty of excitement as the top players gave each round their all to try and make it to the top of the leaderboard.
The FedEx St. Jude Championship proved to be a nail biter right down to the end. Lucas Glover and Patrick Cantlay were neck and neck at the end of the final round and progressed to a sudden-death playoff. Ultimately, Glover eked out a victory, receiving 2,000 points and a $3.6 million prize for his victory.
During the BMW Championship, Viktor Hovland stunned everyone, playing the best round of his entire career, a 9-under score of 61. In addition to receiving 2,000 points for his win, he took home a $3.6 million payout.
Hovland also came out on the top of the TOUR Championship PGA leaderboard, finishing 5-under ahead of Xander Schauffele who took second at 7-under. The PGA Tour Championship payout to the winner was a whopping $18 million, meaning Hovland won more than $21 million during the FedEx Cup Playoffs this year.
Going into the FedEx Playoffs, Rory McIloy was favored by many to be the big winner. Experts pointed to his familiarity with the East Lake course, as he had played more than 20 rounds there over the course of his career. Although he was ranked third at the beginning of the playoffs, many expected him to pull ahead before the end.
Some thought that Xander Schauffele might be the one to watch. He had a strong season and was ranked second at the start of the playoffs. Other players that were being buzzed about as potential champs included Jon Rahm, who led the FedEx Cup standings, and Max Homa, who was in fourth place at the beginning of the event.
The Winner's Journey
Ultimately, none of the favored-to-win players walked away with the FedEx Cup. Viktor Hovland ended up the big winner. Going into the event, he was ranked 7th, and based on his performance at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, he sank all the way to the 13th slot.
Then came the final two events, where Hovland proved that it's possible to mount a huge comeback in the game. Many experts say he played the best rounds of his entire career during the BMW and TOUR Championships, and the 4,000 points that he accumulated from his back-to-back wins clinched the cup for him.
A native of Oslo, Norway, the 25-year-old golfer turned pro in 2019. Prior to the 2023 season, he had only three PGA wins: the 2020 Puerto Rico Open, the 2020 Mayakoba Golf Classic and the 2021 World Wide Technology Championship. This season, he won the Memorial Tournament in early June and came in second at the PGA Championship. His history in the league makes his big win all the more incredible and no doubt will energize the youngest generation of pro golfers next season.
Looking Ahead: What is in Store for The PGA?
The 2022-3 PGA Season will surely go down in history. Off the course, the merger of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf means a new chapter for professional golf, and Viktor Hovland's win seems like the perfect culmination of a season where anything could and did happen. Golf fans are already eagerly awaiting the 2023-4 season to see who emerges as golf's next big stars and how the new PGA-LIV Golf alliance will reshape the sport.
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